Paris Notary Property Auctions

After our experience with the notary and discussion with the in-laws about the role of notaries in real estate transactions (apparently in the “olden days” there were no real estate agents, only notaries), we checked out the website of the notaries of Paris.  While notaries are always involved in real estate transactions in a role similar to a title agent, they sometimes act as real estate agents when handling successions or foreclosure auctions.  There was one property we were interested in that was put up on the auction block last week.

Highlights: great location in the heart of the Latin Quarter (the 5th) on a pedestrian only road, 440 sq ft one-bedroom on 5th US floor with elevator.  No concierge, but it did have a cellar.  It needed to be gutted.  Unfortunately I never got a chance to go to any of the open houses and I was pretty sure the final price would be out of our budget anyways.

Starting price was €225k, and to bid you had to bring a cashier’s check for €45k.  It would probably need around €40-50k of work (you can guesstimate €1k/m2 when ballparking renovation costs in Paris, with some contractors offering rates as low as 700€/m2 going up to 1500€/m2 for high-end materials).  I thought it would go for around €400k, and I wasn’t far off – it went for €385k.  With the work (and I can’t remember if the notary’s fee is included in the hammer price or not), that comes out to over €10k/m2 which seems a smidge pricey for the 5th without something special like a view or a balcony.  At the very least not a bargain, and more importantly out of our budget.

There was also this drool-worthy one that I actually did try to go to visit because I was curious about the open houses and had questions about how the auctions are run generally.

But first the notary gave me the wrong address, then the wrong digicode, and by then I was so freezing cold and frustrated I just couldn’t be bothered.  I am dying of curiosity to see this apartment that went for €18,000/m2!*  I guess the view must be worth it:

*that’s about 2400USD/sq ft and well above the average – average prices in the 7th are €10-12k/m2.  The most exclusive properties in Paris (the Quais of the Seine, Île de la Cite, the Triangle d’Or in the 8th) are €20k/m2!  Of course, the apartment did have 2 balconies with a total of 14 m2 in balcony space, and one parking spot (which runs from €20k-50k in that neighborhood).


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